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You didn't give a model number so I'll tell you both methods. The F5xxx and F6xxx models have a cap at the top of the clean water tank that doubles as a measuring cup. The cap is about 3 inches in diameter. Fill the cap to the fill line with shampoo and dump it in the tank. Then fill the tank with hot (Not Boiling) water.
The F7xxx series has a 2 section tank. The large section is for hot (Not Boiling) water. The smaller section is for shampoo. Fill the smaller section with shampoo and the Steam Vac will mix the water and shampoo for you in the proper proportion.
You do not have the needed vacuum on the dirty water intake. Possible causes are:
1. No adapter sleeve in the back of the dirty water tank (the one that you remove to put the fabric hose adapter in)
2. The dirty water top is not sealed (cracked, not on correctly)
3. The intake shoot at the front of the unit is clogged with dirt/hair.
REMEMBER: This is NOT a vacuum cleaner - it is not designed to remove hair and dust.... ONLY wet dirt. If you fail to vacuum floors just before steam cleaning, the unit will clog up in minutes!!
check to see if the recovery tank lid is on correctly. if this is not on, the machine will not **** up the dirty water from the carpet. all you will get is suction that is chopy when it comes up instead of more like a flow.
I think it is the gasket on top and bottom of the plastic chanel that takes the water up to the dirty water holding tank , Part of the rubber gasket is missing on both the top and bottom. This will alow
air to come in and thus you loose the suction to empty the water into the dirty water bin. My unit is hoover steam vac model F60220-900. I need to know where to get the gaskets.
The recovery tank lid isn't locked down all of the way around. The foam filter on the inside of the tank lid is up too far, needs at leasat a 1/4 in gap from the top. The filter screen by thye indicator is clogged. Some have a duct that sits in front of the recovery tank, either it isn't there or not pushed down all of the way.